Buying baby clothes is not as straightforward as you might think. If you’ve ever shopped for clothes for your little one and realized you didn’t know which size to buy, you’re not alone. How sizes are labeled can vary by brand, and even the sizes themselves are not always the exact fit.
One of the biggest challenges of buying baby clothes is how fast babies grow out of them! Growth spurts can come out of nowhere and then, suddenly, the clothes you just bought are too small. When you have a new baby, you find yourself gushing over the newborn onesies, socks, and hats, only to be packing them away a month after your little one is born, possibly even sooner if you have a larger baby who didn’t fit in them in the first place.
So what is the deal with baby clothes sizes? Baby clothes are typically labeled as either one age or a range of ages. For example, an outfit may say three months or 0-3 months. Once you know what to look for and how to find the right size, you’ll be able to shop for your baby with ease.
Babies and children of all ages are bound to have growth spurts and they aren’t always predictable. It’s essential to make sure you have the cloth size they’re currently wearing as well as a supply of the next size up.
Baby clothes sizes
Even though buying baby clothes should be simple, it can be confusing if you’re not used to finding the correct size. While one brand might label a size as three months, another would label it as 0-3 months. One brand’s six-month clothes might be labeled as 3-6 months in another. To top it all off, not all brands fit your baby the same, so you can end up with some clothes that are the same size but fit your baby differently.
Each size is meant to fit your baby for a certain period, so they are based on the average weight range for that age. However, age and weight aren’t the only factors determining a baby’s size. Length is also something to consider when shopping for your baby.
Since baby clothes are based on averages, if your baby is taller than the average three-month-old or weighs more, you might find your baby doesn’t fit into three-month-old clothing. It’s okay if your baby doesn’t fit in the exact size for their age; not all babies gain weight in the same places. Consult a pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s weight.
Much like adults struggle to find jeans that fit perfectly, finding the right size for your baby can be frustrating. Babies come in all shapes and sizes, and baby outfits aren’t usually one size fits all! The good news is most onesies do stretch, so your baby will usually be comfortable even if they’re a little bit bigger or smaller than the average baby their age.
Baby clothes size chart
Baby clothes are based upon the average baby’s weight and length for their age. If you’re preparing to shop for your baby, it’s important to know these measurements beforehand. These ranges vary by brand, but in general, the following are the average ranges for each size in the US:
When it comes to baby sizes in Europe, it can become confusing if you’re not familiar with them. Unlike US baby clothes, European sizes are based upon the baby’s height in centimeters. However, they are based on the maximum size, like the US sizes. For example, if the European size says 70, they are meant to fit a baby up to 70 centimeters.
These ranges vary by brand as well, but here are the general guidelines for baby clothes in Europe:
Buying baby clothes
Let’s face it, as new moms, we never want to stop buying baby clothes. In most cases, we often end up with way more than we need. Although there’s no shame in buying cute baby clothes, you also want to be frugal because you know your baby will outgrow those clothes soon.
To help you get the most out of your baby clothes shopping trip, here are some tips for buying baby clothes:
1. Know your sizes beforehand
Since you can’t always depend on your baby’s age to determine the size, it’s essential to know your baby’s length and weight before shopping. This will give you an idea of which size to buy. If you happen to be shopping and don’t know their weight or length, go with the size based on their age. But get the bigger one if they’re on the cusp of the next size. You’ll get more use out of the clothes if you size up!
2. Don’t be overwhelmed by the labels
If there’s only one age labeled, such as three months, you can assume that’s the max size. For example, if your baby is four months old, don’t look for the size that says three months because it probably means 0-3 months. Instead, look for the next size up, say six months. Another trick is to place the words “up to” in front of the size. So instead of three months, you would read “up to three months.”
3. When in doubt, shop in person
Even though shopping online has become the norm for many busy parents, shopping in person allows you to look at the clothes before you buy them. Depending on the brand, some sizes seem bigger in person, which gives you a chance to see the variations. If all else fails, buy online and return them if necessary. When you plan on buying baby clothes online, it can be helpful to become familiar with a few brands, so you know you’re getting the same fit.
Newborn baby clothes
Newborn clothes are often too cute to resist. But even though it may be tempting to fill your little one’s closet with newborn clothes, consider how long they will fit into this size. It’s not wrong to have some bigger sizes on hand if you’re bringing a tiny one home soon. Even if your baby does fit in newborn clothes, they may not fit in them for long. And since newborn garments are only meant to fit babies up to 8 pounds, some babies may never wear them! Many parents choose to skip the newborn size entirely because they know they won’t get much use out of them.
Whether you choose to buy newborn clothes or skip to the next size, here are some ideas for what types of clothes you should have on hand before you bring your newborn baby home:
- Onesies or bodysuits
How many of each you should buy depends on how frequently you plan on doing laundry. Spills and diaper explosions do happen, so it’s best to have a few pairs of everything and some extra onesies in case of messy diapers. If you live in a colder climate and are having a baby in the winter months, add a winter jacket and hat to the list.
Buying baby clothes can sometimes be confusing and often overwhelming. It’s hard to know what you need for those early newborn days, and the sizes aren’t labeled the same across every brand. But don’t let that take away from the joy you get picking out cute outfits for your little one. While you don’t need a lot for a newborn, it’s okay to splurge on some cute outfits for your baby to wear.
When you go shopping for baby clothes, be prepared by knowing what size your little one should be wearing. When all else fails, shop in person so that you can get a feel for what sizes will fit best. If you’re between two sizes, size up! Your little one will grow into it in no time, and you’ll get more wear out of something a little too big than something a little too small.